#Nextchat: Employee Benefits for 2015 and Beyond


In March 2015, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted its annual survey to gather information on the types of benefits employers offer to their employees. 

The survey instrument listed more than 300 benefits and asked HR professionals to indicate whether their organizations offered these benefits. If the benefit was not offered, the respondent was asked if there were plans to offer the benefit in the next year.

Within the last 12 months, the majority of organizations have either offered the same amount (58 percent) of employer-sponsored benefits or have increased (35 percent) the number of benefits offered. Of the hundreds of types of benefits that organizations provide to their employees, health care remains the driver for how those benefits plans are composed, particularly as employers continue to weigh the various effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to a report by SHRM and the Employee Benefit Research Institute, few organizations are eliminating health care benefits as a result of federal reforms. However, many are changing the composition of those plans—in some cases relying more heavily on a preventive approach that can reduce health care expenses—and shifting a greater burden of costs onto employees as well. This trend is reflected among the results in this most recent SHRM Employee Benefits research report.

Consequently, patterns in health care spending directly affect the types of other bene­fits that organizations offer. And in an environment with limited compensation growth in most sectors of the U.S. economy, a competitive bene­fits package can make the difference in attracting top talent to an organization.

Research has shown that many job seekers frequently place greater importance on health care coverage, flexible work schedules and other benefi­ts rather than on their base salaries. Benefits plans should be viewed by HR professionals as a vital tool in their retention and recruitment strategies.

What benefits are you adding or boosting to attract and retain talent, and do you feel that benefits truly trump salary in the new world of work? 

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on October 28 for #Nextchat with special guest Evren Esen, director of survey programs from @SHRM_Research. (Evren will tweet with the @SHRM_research Twitter handle). We’ll chat about how employers are using benefits in 2015 and the trends for the future.  

Q1. Do you think that benefits are or will become more important than salary in attracting and retaining talent? Why/Why not?

Q2. Which employee benefits do you feel are most important in attracting and retaining talent now? 

Q3. What new employee benefits have you added the past five years to remain competitive and what prompted you to add?

Q4. What unique employee benefits (such as unlimited vacation or paid parental leave) have you added to stay competitive?

Q5. Which employee benefits will you be removing, adding or boosting next year?

Q6. How have you changed your health care offerings in the past five years in response to the continued rollout of the ACA?

Q7. What generational differences have you noticed in the selection and popularity of particular employee benefits?

Q8. Do you think wellness benefits (financial and health) help when it comes to improving employee engagement? Why/why not? 

Q9. What trends are you seeing in employee benefits that are shaping the future of what employers will be offering over the next 10 years? 






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